Thursday, March 30, 2006

Read This...Now

Trust me on this. You will not be disappointed. In fact, you will likely want to send me money and gifts.

I Just Got This In The Mail

I am filled with childlike glee.

I got this, too:

It was a good mail day.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

I Hate Supertramp!

Sorry, but it had to be said.

I Can Still See Clearly Now

After my cataract surgeries last fall, my doctor noticed that my intraocular eye pressure was high. At first he thought it may have been a result of the surgery, and would pass. It didn’t, so he scheduled more tests.

Yesterday I went through three hours worth of examinations, beginning with a visual field test. This involved sticking my head in a bowl-shaped indentation in a computerized gizmo, covering one eye and staring at a small light at the back of the bowl. As lights flashed around the periphery of my vision I had to click a button at every sighting. Some of these lights were bright, others almost invisible. In fact, after six or seven minutes of this I began to imagine I was seeing lights and various other floating objects. After eight minutes, I was done with the first eye. Then I got to do it again. The tech told me that “the old people” sometimes fell asleep during the test. “At a party like this?” I said. She didn’t laugh.

Later, I had many pictures taken of my optic nerve. Apparently this part of the process required a flash roughly three times brighter than the surface of the sun.

I also had what turned out to be the most important test of the day. My eyes were numbed and the thickness of my corneas was measured. It turns out that my corneas are thicker than average. Much thicker. Which means that my pressure readings were inaccurate. When the new corneas measurement was factored in, my IOE pressure was well within normal range. I don’t have glaucoma.

Now I’m free to find something new to obsess about.


Here comes a massive surprise. I hope you’re sitting down.

I’m not going to finish The Firecracker Man by my self-imposed March 31st deadline. That’s the bad news. If it weren’t for holding down this 60-hour-a-week job, I might have done it.

The good news is that I’m fairly close to the end of the novel now, and today I managed to solve some storytelling problems that have been haunting me. So even though I’m blowing the deadline I had set, I feel good about where I am.

And believe me when I tell you it’s good to feel good.

Pulp O' The Day

Monday, March 27, 2006

Pod of Horror #12

It’s the last pre-teen episode of Pod of Horror. Listen as our voices change and hair grows in funny places as POH #12 strikes!

*** Christopher Golden talks writing, comics and media tie-ins.

*** We give away MASTERS OF HORROR DVDs on The Tomb of Trivia, along with TWO TWISTED NUTS.

*** TICKLER or LICKER? Find out on Dave’s Poop.

*** Advice Demon Grim Rictus reveals his secret lineage.

*** Plus more inane rambling.

Pod of Horror #12 with Mark Justice and David T. Wilbanks is ready to waste bandwidth now at I-Tunes or direct to your desktop here.

Sunday, March 26, 2006


Looking over this blog the other day, it struck me how all-over-the-map it is.

Kinda like the inside of my head.

Writing, podcasting, politics, movies, comics, TV, books, home life and lots of pulps. It’s all here, and more. I think I have a touch of ADD.

I’ve always envied those people who have only one hobby or interest. They devote their lives to woodcarving or crocheting or muscle cars or model trains. They come home, have dinner with the family, open their stamp book or their coin collection and get lost in their hobby until bedtime. Rinse and Repeat.

I spend more time deciding what to read – Comics? Horror? Something I have to review? – than I do actually reading. I’m so far behind on everything I want to read I don’t think I’ll ever be able to keep up.

But I still buy books.

It’s like a crack addiction, one I know I’ll never be able to shake.


Over at Shocklines, Wm. Ollie mentions, after listening to the podcast of my story “Father’s Day”, that when those who read stories attempt to give different voices to characters, it distracts him.

One of the very best at doing this is Tom Monteleone. His recording of “Horn of Plenty” is a stone cold masterpiece, the benchmark for all other authors reading their own work. If I could do it a tenth as well as Monteleone, I’d be a happy guy. Meanwhile, I’ll keep trying.

By the way, I’m referring only to his acting skills. If I could write a hundredth as well as Monteleone...

Well, you know.


There’ll be a new Pod of Horror tomorrow. Cool prizes, too, DVD fans.

Pulp O' The Day

Saturday, March 25, 2006

Another Doc, Just For The Hell Of It

Listen To Me

The audio version of my story "Father's Day" is now up at The Late Late Show. You can listen here. Feedback is appreciated.

Pulp O' The Day

Yeah, I know it's not a pulp cover, but the Bantam reprints of those Doc novels marked me for life. Those James Bama covers were incredible.

Friday, March 24, 2006

Thursday, March 23, 2006

More Hot For Teacher

Check the comments section of the Debra Lafave post. Author Matthew Warner, who knows far more about the legal system than I ever will, makes some fine points.

It's a good thing I'm not constrained by the facts, eh? It's why I got out of news and into making fart jokes on the radio.


Pod of Horror #12 is coming next week. Today I interviewed Christopher Golden, one of my favorite writers, for the show. I think you're going to enjoy this one. If you've never read him, then rush out and pick up The Boys Are Back in Town, Wildwood Road and The Ferryman. Then read them, in that order.

And we've got something very cool planned for POH #13.

Pulp O' The Day

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Hot For Teacher

I hope you enjoy the short-short in the post below. I had no market for it and it was just sitting on my hard drive, so here it is for you. I’d love some feedback.


I’m not really sure what is going on with this phenomenon of female teachers having sex with underage male students. It seems to have exploded during the past few years. I don’t understand the mental mis-wiring that makes children sexy to some adults, and I realize that this is not a new occurrence. When I was in high school one of the really cute teachers had a thing for some of the athletes. The word was she offered to tutor them at her house when her husband was out of town. The tutoring usually ended up with this teacher , uh, cleaning the student’s easer, if ya know what I’m sayin’. It seemed everybody knew about it, but nobody complained. Especially the athletes.

However, had it been a male teacher with, say, a cheerleader, it would have been a different story.

With the current spate of molestations, the teacher usually goes to jail. But in the Debra Lafave case the charges were dismissed. She won’t be going to the pokey for allowing a 14-year-old boy to poke her.

We can only draw one conclusion from this legal decision.

If you’re really hot, you ain’t going to prison. Here, take a look at Ms. Lafave. I’ll wait.

Do you think that if the teacher had been a chubby guy or a butch chick, the charges would have been dropped?

Me neither.

Lafave blames her actions on her bipolar disorder, the new coverall excuse for bad behavior. Perhaps she really is ill and needs treatment. I have no idea. I just know that she wasn’t able to use that defense at her trial, because there was no trial.

Don’t get me wrong. If I was a high school boy and this woman propositioned me I would have immediately passed out due to the blood rushing from my brain. I wouldn’t have been able to work any problems at the board for four years.

That doesn’t change the fact that another teacher – an less attractive one or one equipped with a penis – would be in jail now.

Enjoy your freedom, Ms. Lafave, along with your TV appearances and your inevitable and profitable book deal.

You’ve just won the lucrative Double Standard Lottery.

Marriage Flambé

She had taken the top of the turkey pan about twenty minutes earlier so the bird would brown a bit, but when Marsha bent down to check on it through the oven window, she gasped.

The turkey wasn’t there anymore.

Steve, her husband, was smiling at her from the oven’s interior.

Marsha tumbled back onto her rump and her head smacked against a cabinet. She hardly felt the impact.

Steve was in the oven.

Before she could ponder the obvious questions – how did he fit in there? Why wasn’t he cooked? Why did he look so damned happy, certainly happier than he ever acted at home? – his head grew smaller and more distant.

She realized that he wasn’t in the oven at all. She was watching a movie about Steve. The oven window had become a TV screen.

As the camera drew back, Marsha recognized the setting. Steve’s office. And from the decorations, she knew it was the annual office Christmas party.

The no-spouses-allowed-because-the-budget-is-tight-this-year office Christmas party.

But how could she be watching a movie of Steve’s party when it wasn’t until tomorrow? She’d even promised to cook a turkey for the crew, to save on expenses.

Another figure walked into the scene and now Marsha knew why Steve had been smiling.

Steve’s secretary Tyra closed the door behind her. Marsha heard the click of the lock. Steve took the younger woman into his arms, smothering her with kisses while one hand groped Tyra’s small, shapely backside.

Tyra pushed him away and said, “What about your wife?”

“I’m telling her tomorrow, baby. We’ll be together by New Year’s Eve,” Steve said.

Marsha jerked the oven door open only to find that Steve and his little slut had disappeared. The turkey, though, was done. She closed the over door again, but she only saw the silver pan and the browned bird.

Fighting back tears, Marsha put the turkey on a platter and took out her carving knife.

She knew what she had to do.

She had mentally prepared a wonderful speech full of pain and loss and betrayal, but as soon as Steve walked through the door and gave her his customary nod of greeting, she forgot the speech and rammed the carving knife into his stomach. He managed to gasp out, “What—” before he collapsed.

She stood over her husband and pulled the knife out. “Twenty-eight years. You think I put in all that time to let you leave me for that little tramp?”

“I don’t…please….” Blood bubbled from his lips. “…take…your pills...”

Marsha screamed. Steve blamed everything bad thing that happened on those goddamned pills.

She kneeled next to Steve before plunging the knife into his throat.

Blood sprayed across the beautiful Italian kitchen tile. It would be a bitch to clean up, but she couldn’t worry about that. She had a divorce to prevent.

Later, after Steve stopped moving, Marsha crawled over to the oven door and peered into the window.

A new movie was playing. She saw herself, in that very spot, with the oven door open and her head inside.

She looked back at Steve. He would never leave her now. That tramp Tyra would have to find a new Sugar Daddy. No one would ever come between Marsha and her husband. They would be together forever. She would see to it.

She turned the gas on and opened the oven door.

Copyright 2006 by Mark Justice

Who Will Replace Katie Couric?

Pulp O' The Day

Tuesday, March 21, 2006

Monday, March 20, 2006

Best Joke Of The Week

Former President Bill Clinton is embarking on a tour of college campuses where he will deliver a series of lectures on the value of persistence.

His speech is called "Spitters Are Quitters".

Waiting For Wednesday

Today I'm helping my brother move furniture.

Tomorrow we're having our taxes done.

Can somebody show me where the fast-forward button is?

Pulp O' The Day

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Saturday, March 18, 2006

The Week That Was

It’s been an interesting week here on the home front.

I had lunch with the quarterback of the New York Jets, Chad Pennington. Okay, me and 300 other people. It was a fundraiser for the Boy Scouts, and since Pennington went to nearby Marshall University, he came back to help out the Scouts. He also brought former Marshall teammate Troy Brown from the New England Patriots.

Hey, my table was next to Pennington’s table. Does that count?

It was a fairly good writing week, too. I produced two nice chunks of the collaborative novel with Dave Wilbanks. Work continues on The Firecracker Man. And I cranked out some stuff for Pulp Nocture,

Chris Fletcher tells me the audio version of my story “Father’s Day” will be up next Saturday at The Late Late Show. I did the reading.

This week I also recorded another audio project, this time reading the work of another writer. I’ll let him announce it. What he has planned for the recording sounds like it will be pretty cool.

We finally watched the season finale of Battlestar Galactica and I was blown away. It’s rare these days to find a show willing to take chances, and the producers of Galactica did just that, turning the concept of the show on its ear. There were so many great moments. Where do I start? Adama’s devotion to duty, though he knows what it will cost. Roslin’s dereliction of duty, for the same reason. Lee’s descent. Starbuck’s spirit. The chief’s amazing transformation into a leader.

October can’t get here soon enough.

POH Feels The Love From Rue Morgue

Rue Morgue magazine is the best publication out there for horror fans, primarily because they take a critical view of films, unlike Fangoria, which treats Final Destination 16 like the second coming of Akira Kurosawa. Also, Rue Morgue actually acknowledge that horror fans enjoy books. RM has profiled many big names and up-and-comers in the field.

And now they've recognized Pod of Horror.

In an article on Podcasting in issue 54, Brett Alexander Savory and Monica S. Kuebler say, “...and Pod of Horror (co-founded by authors Mark Justice and David T. Wilbanks, and sponsored by distinguishes itself as a horror lit radio show featuring publishing and convention news, book recommendations, as well as interviews with popular genre authors and editors.”

Thanks, guys. I knew there was a reason RM was my favorite magazine.

Pulp O' The Day

Friday, March 17, 2006

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Bridges Magazine

Bridges is a local publication, a big glossy magazine with features and articles relating to the area where I live. Around the holidays the editor asked me to contribute a humorous column. I did, and it's in the Spring issue, which I just got today. Other than the addition of some exclamation points, the article appears to be the way I wrote it.

In a coincidence, the cover story is devoted to The Spider Web house, a local landmark owned my Aunt and Uncle.

For a free subscription, call 606-329-8383.

Free Fiction

My story "Father's Day" is now up at The Late Late Show. You can read it here.

The audio version should be up soon.

Pulp O' The Day

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Pulp Nocturne Tease

Turn your speakers up and go here.

Get Yer Mafia Name Here

If you've always wanted to be a made man -- without whacking somebody-- then here you go. Enter your name to find out your mafia name. My first attmept drew Lucky Jake Lombardi. On the second try, I was Ass Clown Biondi. I think I prefer Ass Clown.

My wife was Valentina the Brain.

Pulp O' The Day

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Monday, March 13, 2006

All The Kids AreTalking About It...

It will be here soon...

Pod of Horror #11

Pod of Horror #11 emerges from the bowels of – well, just the bowels, to present another excuse to swear for 38 minutes. And we also have:

* A talk with the funniest man in horror, Jeff Strand.

* Advice Demon Grim Rictus tries to rhyme.

* Nanci Kalanta give us the March Horror World update.

* Voice mail from the Warners.

* The Tomb of Trivia if full of prizes: POE'S LIGHTHOUSE edited by Christopher Conlon, THE CLEANSING by Shane Ryan Staley, WORMWOOD NIGHTS by Charlee Jacob. TWO TWISTED NUTS by Jeff Strand and Nick Cato, and SOCIALLY AWKWARD MOMENTS WITH AN ASPIRING LUNATIC by Strand.

* A $50 gift certificate to and a subscription to Cemetery Dance magazine.

Join us as we try to live up to our I-Tunes Explicit label for Pod of Horror #11. You can download it here.

Pulp O' The Day

Sunday, March 12, 2006


I forgot to mention that my interview with Brian Knight and review of Knight's Broken Angel were in last week's Hellnotes. You can subscribe at their site. I see Judi has a two month trial sub for jsut $5. If you are at all interested in horror fiction, I suggest you take advantage of the deal.

Pulp O' The Day

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Coming Monday: Pod of Horror #11

We just wrapped up producing another installment of POH. When it debuts Monday, you'll find:

  • Funny-scary writer Jeff Strand
  • Horror Goddess Nanci Kalanta
  • Grim Rictus
  • Major prizes on Tomb of Trivia
  • Major cursing as we try to live up to the "Explicit" label I-Tunes has stuck on us
  • Many references to rectums; God only knows why.
That sounds like a good use of 38 minutes, doesn't it?

What's with those friggin' flowers? Geez.

Pulp O' The Day

Friday, March 10, 2006

Thursday, March 09, 2006

ER Brutha

I spent three hours in the emergency room today with my brother. It looks like he has a touch of pneumonia.

He showed me the secret of getting fast treatment in the ER: have a fever above 103.

No waiting, baby.

They knocked the fever down pretty quickly and it looks like he’s on the mend.

Good thing. I told him he’s the only one I can count on to show up for my Horrorfind reading.

Pulp O' The Day

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The Quest For Doc Ends

My Uncle Bud gave me my first Doc Savage books in 1969. I considered them my first grown-up books, since they didn’t have pictures (of course I didn’t know that in the original pulp publication there were pictures. Hey, I was nine). Those books were Dust of Death, The Flaming Falcons and The Other World. Many books and comics and toys have passed through my hands in the intervening years, but I still have those three novels.

Captivated by those ultra cool James Bama cover paintings, I dug in to those stories and became forever mesmerized by the world of Doc Savage, adventurer supreme, righter of wrongs and archenemy of evil. I went on to collect every Doc book.

Except one.

When the Doc Savage novels were published in magazine form starting in 1933, the novels were full-length ( or at least what the pulps considered full length), so Bantam reprinted one novel per book.

Later, when the paper shortages of World War II forced many magazines to reduce in size or even shut down, the novels became novellas, and those were reprinted two to a book. In fact, the later Doc stories, most novelette in length, were packaged four or five to a book by Bantam.

But it’s the Doc Doubles that concern us here. Specifically, Double # 115/116 Pirate Isle and The Speaking Stone.

For some reason – low print run, poor distribution – this book never made it to any of my usual haunts. In that pre-eBay year of 1983, I searched for it everywhere I saw a bookstore. As the rest of the Docs were reprinted, I collected them all, along with a few of the original pulp magazines, but I could never find 115/116.

Then eBay came along and a whole new world of collecting opened to me. And I eventually found that missing book listed, for astronomical prices. Oh, I bid on it many times, convincing myself that it was worth $35, $45 or $50 to complete my Doc collection. But I always lost those auctions or balked at upping my bid to ridiculous levels.

This went on for years.

Until last Saturday, when I found a company called Blackmask Online. They’re engaged in reprinting Doc Savage novels in facsimile form (along with other cools stuff), and right there on their Doc page, they had Pirate Isle and The Speaking Stone together in one volume for $10.99.

So I ordered it. I was going to finally read those stories.

After ordering the book, I headed to work. I had a little time to kill, so I stopped by my local used paperback store.

You see where this is going, right?

There was the legendary, elusive Doc Savage Double Novel #115/116.

For $3.00.

I wasn’t sure what message the universe was trying to send me. I mean, after 23 years of scouring the book world for this Doc, it turns up twice in one day.

So I bought it.

I read it earlier today and was reminded how tight author Lester Dent’s writing became in the later years of his Doc career. Had the man not died far too young, I believe we would have been discussing him with a lot of the great mystery and suspense writers of the 1950s, like John D. MacDonald.

Anyway, my collection is now complete. It was great to visit with Doc, Monk, Ham Renny and the rest once again.

And it has me even more enthused about Pulp Nocturne. More on that any day now.

Oh, and thanks Uncle Bud. I owe it all to you.


I think I know why this season of 24 is so much better than the last.

After watching this week’s double episode in which we bid farewell to chunky Edgar (and let me tell you: I hate it when the fat guys die), it struck me why this season has been so much more captivating. The producers and writers have eliminated down time.

They’ve removed the boring parts.

In the last season, when something incredibly stupid happened – like, oh, say Jack having to delay a bad guy at a gas station by taking the station hostage for two hours instead just cutting the tire on the bad guy’s car – we had plenty of time to ponder the stupidity of the situation.

This year, the action and twists are so fast and furious that when something dopey does happen (and those moments mostly involve the President), we don’t have time to worry about it before we’re thrown into the next nerve gas attack/shoot out/familiar character dying.

I don’t know if this is due to a change on the producing or writing staff. But whatever it is, I like it. I just hope they can keep it up for the rest of the season.

And I hope they get Kim in a t-shirt soon. And running. That's quality TV.

Pulp O' The Day

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Live Mark

I just found out I'll be doing a reading at the Horrorfind convention in Baltimore in August.

It's not too late to cancel your reservation.

Pulp O' The Day

Monday, March 06, 2006

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Mark Gets Wright

The new issue of the Dave Wilbanks-edited Page Horrific is up now. In it, I interview horror legend T.M. Wright, whose novel Boundaries scared the piss out of me. Read the interview here.

Pulp O' The Day

Friday, March 03, 2006

Where's Marky?

I know there hasn’t been much blogging lately, and I apologize to those who actually miss it. Real life has been making its presence felt in almost everything I do: broken glasses, lost keys, plumbing problems and a near-arrest at Wal-Mart (it was three in the morning and I had purchased reading glasses, the tag on which set off the security alarm, followed by my inability to find my receipt, much to the amusement of the 12 people who had been dozing at the Wal-Mart McDonalds).

A big distraction was the illness suffered by one of my cats. Clark is fine now, but I’m such a big baby when it comes to the cats that I was a basket case for a couple of days. So was Lois, who hissed and growled at Clark for three days because he smelled like the vet's office.

The writing continues, both on The Firecracker Man and the collaborative novel with Dave Wilbanks.

I’m really jazzed about Pulp Nocturne. More details on that one coming soon (but now you know why I’ve been posting so many pulp covers. That’s all I’ve been reading lately).

Thanks for the emails from those who have read and enjoyed my story in Damned Nation…both of you. :^)

Pulp O' The Day

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Wednesday, March 01, 2006